Changing places: Europeans grow more assertive on Ukraine as Washington shows caution

By | July 16, 2023

The Wall Street Journal reports:

Last week’s NATO summit revealed a major realignment within the U.S.-led trans-Atlantic alliance.

European nations, once seen as less steadfast in their support for Kyiv and more vulnerable to Russian pressure, are determined to help Ukraine win an unambiguous victory. At the same time, the Biden administration, which orchestrated a unified Western response to Russian President Vladimir Putin’s invasion last year, is increasingly cautious—constrained by domestic politics and a fear of direct confrontation with Moscow.

In Europe, the once-gaping divisions between different capitals have narrowed sharply, as countries previously seen as soft on Russia, including France, Italy, Spain and to a lesser extent Germany, have all moved much closer to Ukraine’s fiercest supporters: Poland, the Baltic and the Nordic states.

“It took a while, but then it seeped through. Today a lot of leaders around Europe, including Germany, understand that they must help Ukraine defeat Putin if they want to defend their own security,” said Reinhard Bütikofer, a German member of the European Parliament. “They have well understood that Putin’s threat to Ukraine has significance far beyond Ukraine itself.” [Continue reading…]

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